For nearly 20 years, the Rev. Mary Harris, Dean of Students, has been a central figure in the life of Christian Theological Seminary. Upon returning from Christmas break, she notified the Seminary that she would be retiring at the beginning of February.
Rev. Harris began working at CTS on June 15, 2000, as Church and Alumni Relations Director in the Seminary Advancement Department. In 2002, she became the Interim Director of Admissions, eventually becoming the Director of Admissions. After two years in that position, Rev. Harris was promoted to Associate Dean for Student services, a position she held for 11 years. In 2012, Rev. Harris was promoted to Dean of Students, where she has served as chaplain, advocate, counselor, prayer partner, and supporter of students and alumni/ae.
When we asked her about her plans for retirement, Dean Harris shared,
My plans for retirement include travel to the ancestral homelands of Nancy’s and my own which are England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Germany. In addition, I will be writing a book about my ancestors entitled “Waking Up to Dixie: Discovering My Southern Heritage.” My daughter and her family are relocating to my hometown of Charleston, WV this June so we will also be assisting their transition. Finally, I have resumed my walking schedule of a few years ago so I am hoping to be in better health as a result.
Generations of students and alumni/ae have been graced by the work and kindness of Dean Harris. The Seminary is extremely grateful to her and for the care that she has taken in serving our students. She has also been a valuable resource and colleague for faculty and staff.
We will be honoring her and her retirement on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, with a celebratory Open House, 4:00-6:00 pm. Special remarks will be offered at 5:00. The event will take place in the Common Room. We hope that you will make plans to join us for the celebration!
As part of our celebration for Dean Harris, we will be creating a book of memories and well wishes. We invite you to contribute a page (8×11) to be included in the book. Please bring them to the celebration or submit them to Dean Francis’ office by January 30th.
May the God who loves us all without measure, continue to surround, bless, and uphold Dean Harris as she continues her journey!
David M. Mellott
President, Christian Theological Seminary